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Lord Viscount Howe 


Lord Viscount Howe 


In the French and Indian War 

July 6, 1758 

Trout Brook, TiconderocxA, N. Y 



» Edward J. Owen, A. M. 

Superintendent of Schools, Ticonderoga, N. Y. 

Press of Brandow Printing Company 

'laV^^ Cm I Mi} 

HIS paper was originally read at the Columbian 
celebration of July 4, 1892, at the "old French 
lines " in Ticonderoga, when, on motion of the 
Rev. Joseph Cook, a copy was requested for pub- 
lication. It was subsequently revised and en- 
larged and, on invitation, read before the Albany Institute in 
the city of Albany on January 3, 1893, when, on motion of 
Hon. Judge Van Alstyne, it was unanimously resolved, " That 
the thanks of the Institute be and are hereby given to Prof. 
E. J. Owen for his able and interesting paper on the burial 
place of Lord Howe." 

In accordance with the request of many friends, who are 
interested in the subject matter of the paper, the writer has 
been induced to publish the same, trusting that the arguments 
thus presented may convince the reader that the remains of 
Lord Howe were in fact buried on the battle-field in the 
present village of Ticonderoga and not at Albany. 

The writer desires to express his obligations for valuable 
suggestions and personal favors to Mr. D. Turner, of 
Washington, D. C, and John C. Fenton, Esq., of Ticon- 
deroga, N. Y. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Albany Institute : 

With a deep sense of your courtesy, I come before you this 
evening to present, as carefully as I am able, the claim of 
Ticonderoga to be the only resting place of the remains of 
Lord Howe. 

In these busy days of modern activity, it may seem of little 
moment as to what took place a century or more ago in a 
wilderness on our northern frontier. But to the student of 
history the probability or improbability of traditions or 
legends relating to past events becomes a most interesting 
study, and especially so when the event pertains to our 
Colonial History — a history which the genius of Parkman 
has so ably illustrated that we seem to have a personal knowl- 
edge of those heroic days and of the men who lived therein. 
I invite your considerate attention while we enter into this 
realm of the past and visit those scenes of the death and 
burial of Lord George Augustus Howe, remembering that he 
was the leading Englishman in America at that time — the 
grandson of King George I — the special favorite of Wm. 
Pitt, prime minister of England — the idol of the army and 
beloved in England and America. 

It is not an unusual circumstance in searching the records 
of past history to find that either the place of birth, of death 
or even the final resting place of not a few great and distin- 
guished men has been so clouded with grave doubts as to 
present no sufficient or satisfactory assurance of the real truth 
of the case. There are so many notable evidences of this, 
familiar to all students of history, that we shall not spend any 
time in this presence in relating the many instances thus 
afforded. It is our purpose to present a few reasons why the 
former traditions relative to the burial of Lord Howe so rest 
upo^i vague, uncertain and indefinite testimony that the accu- 
rate student may well be pardoned if he treats them with 

8 TJie B^lr^al of 

It is true that while men of some repute as historians have 
accepted these traditions, others, of as great if not greater 
reputation as faithful narrators of historical facts, though 
minutely describing the soldier-life and death of Lord Howe 
nowhere refer to or accept the tradition that his remains were 
buried in Albany. • 

The burial of a man however distinguished became, in the 
early colonial days of anxiety and peril, a matter of little 
moment and any supposition or impression as to the exact 
locality would naturally pass into history without any very 
thorough or careful examination and thus be accepted as a 
fact. And so it has happened, as it has in other instances, 
that historical writers have accepted a general tradition as to 
Lord Howe's burial and, without careful investigation, have 
assumed its truth. 

We do not enter upon a discussion of the credibility of this 
tradition, in any spirit of self-assumption, for we well know 
the diflficulty involved in attempting to antagonize a long 
cherished tradition, but rather with the hope that the real 
truth of the case rr^ay be made manifest beyond any reasona- 
ble doubt. 

The tradition relative to the removal of the remains from 
the battle-field and their burial in Albany may be stated as 
follows : 

After the death of Lord Howe, young Philip Schuyler, an 
officer in the colonial army, was directed to convey his remains 
back to Albany for sepulture. He did so and they were 
buried in some place in Albany. The place is generally sup- 
posed to be St. Peter's church, known then as the English church. 

This statement is generally followed by the historians 
Lossing and Watson. 

Assuming that the remains were thus conveyed to Albany 
and buried, it would be reasonable to suppose that the grave 
of so distinguished a man would have been marked with a 
monument or some suitably inscribed tablet or stone. Not to 
have done so would imply great neglect and a seeming in.dif- 
ference to the memory of a man so dear to the American 

Lord Viscount Howe. g 

And yet there is no pretence of the existence of any such 
mural tablet. In fact there was none and as a natural result 
we have a variety of accounts touching the place of burial, 
the coffin and the remains. 

It is interesting to note these differences of statement or 
opinion or fact as they are the substance of the entire claim 
furnished in behalf of Albany as the place of sepulture and 
we present the same as fully as we are able to do. They may 
be separately stated as follows: 

First. The civic procession upon the reception of the 

Second. The burial and the various re-interments. 

Third. The various coffins and their contents. 

We will briefly dispose of the civic procession without par- 
ticular comment. Undoubtedly if Howe's remains were 
removed to Albany they must have been interred with suita^ 
ble ceremony. Lossing and Watson in their histories refer 
to such a procession but give no authority for their statements. 
No proof exists of any such fact beyond these alleged histori- 
cal statements. A letter written in Albany, July 15, 1758, 
and sent to a New York newspaper, relates his death, speaks 
of his many good qualities, but does not mention or even 
allude to any such alleged ceremonial procession. Such a 
letter written within nine days of the death must be con- 
sidered as good contemporaneous history of what actually 
occurred in the city of Albany. The utter silence of all the 
letter writers of that period regarding any military or civic 
display at Albany is at least very significant for, if he were 
buried in Albany, there was no reason for any secrecy but if 
he was buried on the battle-field, as we shall endeavor to 
show, there was the utmost reason for profound secrecy. 
Such silence therefore grew out of utter ignorance of any such 

In regard to the burial and various re-interments we have 
the following conflicting statements: 

Proctor says that the remains were first placed in the 
Schuyler vault; then at some unknown time placed under the 

lo The Bnrial of 

chancel of St. Peter's church where they rested nearly forty 
years. When the church was demolislied in 1802 they were 
removed to the Van Rensselaer vault; afterwards they were 
placed in the new Van Rensselaer vault in the Rural cemetery 
where they now rest. 

Watson says that they were at once buried in St. Peter's 

Munsell says that a tradition prevailed to a considerable 
extent that the remains were buried under St. Peter's church 
but that there seems to have been no authority for it whatever. 
He also mentions another tradition that they were buried 
under the old Dutch church and the further report that the 
remains were afterward removed to England. 

Another writer (W. W. Crannell), in an elaborate article in 
the Evening Journal under date of November 9, 1889, alleges 
that the body may have been placed temporarily in a vault 
prior to placing the same in St. Peter's church. 

There is a curious discrepancy in the various accounts 
regarding the coffins which enclosed the remains. 

Proctor states that when first deposited they were in a 
double coffin of lead. Watson says that at the time of the 
exhumation in 1802 a double coffin was revealed. The outer 
one of white pine nearly decayed, the other of heavy 
mahogany almost entire. 

Referring to the same exhumation, the Evening Journal of 
March 30, 1859, says that there were persons then living who 
recollect that at the time of the exhumation in 1802 the coffin 
was covered with canvas and that saturated with tar. That 
this coffin was then enclosed in another and then deposited 
under St. Peter's church. 

At the exhumation in 1859 only one coffin has been claimed 
to have been seen by any witness. 

There is the same variety of testimony regarding the con- 
tents of the various coffins as related by the different witnesses. 

Watson says that at the exhumation in 1802 when the lid of 
the coffin was removed, the remains appeared clothed in a 
rich silk damask cerement in which they were enshrouded on 

Lord Viscount Hozvc. 1 1 

his interment. The teeth were bright and perfect, the hair 
stiffened by the dressing of the period, the queue entire, the 
ribbon and double brace apparently new and jet black and all 
on exposure shrunk into dust. 

In the Evening Journal oi November 9, 1859, it is stated on 
the authority of an eye witness present at the exhumation in 
1859 that the single coffin contained besides several bones, a 
large tuft of human hair about six inches long, which was 
tied with a black silk ribbon; that the coffin bore no inscrip- 
tion but was supposed to contain the remains of Lord Howe. 

Lossing says that he was informed by Mrs. Cochrane that 
when the coffin was opened many years after the burial, the 
hair had grown to long flowing locks and was very beautiful. 

The Evening Joiinia! of March 30, 1859, states that this 
morning the remains of a coffin were discovered and in it were 
found the bones of a large sized person. That these were the 
remains of Lord Howe there can be little doubt. Two pieces 
of ribbon in a good state of preservation were found. 

Mr. L. B. Proctor, of Albany, states in the Evening Post^ 
October 17, 1889, that when the remains were removed to the 
Rural cemetery they were then inspected and with the bones 
were found relics of military dress, such as buttons, a gold 
buckle, and other military insignia. 

An interesting item of alleged evidence is found in the 
treasurer's book of St. Peter's church, as follows: "1758, 
Sept 5. To cash Rd for ground to lay the Body of Lord 
how & Pall — 5. 6. o. " No burial register covering the year 
1758 has been found. 

It is believed that the foregoing statements represent all the 
evidence that can be found to substantiate the alleged fact 
that the remains of Lord Howe were buried in Albany. 

Upon a careful consideration of the same it will be found 
that the allegation as to the conveyance of the remains from 
the battle-field and the civic and military funeral at Albany 
rests upon the sole authority of a letter of Mrs. Cochrane 
written forty-four years after the event. She was the daugh- 
ter of Philip Schuyler, born in the year 1781. We have no 
information whatever as to how she derived her knowledge, 

1 2 The Burial of 

so that it may be determined how far her statement is worthy 
of credit as an historical fact. It therefore stands alone, 
unsupported by any corroborative testimony whatever. 
Indeed there is every presumption against its accuracy. 

Such a removal and burial is not mentioned in any military 
or civil despatch, newspaper or journal, diary or letter of the 
time, published or printed in England or the colonies. The 
official documents or archives of the city of Albany are 
equally silent. The dispatches of Gen. Abercrombie do 
not refer to it, and the letters of his brother officers writ- 
ten from the head of Lake George under dates of July 
9, lo, 12, 13, 1758, though describing the death and their 
sorrow, are also silent as to the final disposition of the 
remains and yet the very same letters minutely describe 
the conveyance of the wounded Major Duncan Campbell to 
Fort Edward, their hopes for his recovery, his death and 
burial, and even the very location of his grave. How does it 
happen that not a word is written regarding the disposition 
of the dead general! Surely if the remains were indeed 
taken to Albany, his comrades would have gladly attested to 
the fact. If they so tenderl}- refer to the sepulture of the 
dead major how much more would they have been likely to 
give the same facts regarding their lamented general, the 
acknowledged idol of the wliole army! 

It may be asked why should there be such silence regarding 
his final resting place? The answer is evident. There would 
have been no silence if his remains had been taken to Albany; 
but if his remains had been hastily buried on or near the bat- 
tle-field, as these officers well knew, there was every reason 
for complete silence, lest by careless or injudicious word or 
speech, intelligence might be conveyed to the enemy. 
History tells us that the French commander paid sixty livres 
for an English scalp. Under such encouragement, so atro- 
cious were the acts of the Indians that they even dug up the 
remains of the brother of Col. Rogers in order that they 
might possess his scalp. Hence the need of absolute secrecy 
in the event of the burial of a private or officer on the battle- 

The partisan Rogers has left an elaborate journal of the 

Lord Viscount Howe. 13 

war, in which he minutely gives the particulars of Abercrom- 
bie's campaign and the death of Howe; but he is also silent 
as to the disposition of the body. 

The London files of the Gazette and the Daily Advertiser of 
those days, contain a number of letters dated at Albany and 
sent to officials and friends in New York, Boston and Phila- 
delphia, describing Abercrombie's defeat, the death of Howe, 
and the return of the army but do not mention the arrival of 
the remains and the military display at Albany. 

Neither Parkman or Bancroft, though referring to the monu- 
ment in Westminster Abbey, allude to any disposition of the 

As the tradition owes its origin to a member of the Schuyler 
family it may be interesting to consider a few facts authenti- 
cated by history relative to its connection with Lord Howe. 
Mrs. Schuyler, or "Aunt Schuyler," as she was commonly 
called, lived at the Flats, now Watervliet. She was the 
mother of Philip Schuyler. In her memoirs it is related that 
Lord Howe so won her heart that she loved him like a son 
and though not given to such effusion, embraced him with 
tears when he left her to lead his division to the lake. His 
last night prior to his departure was passed under her 
hospitable roof. 

It is related in the same memoirs that two or three days 
after the battle a horseman was seen riding furiously down 
the road from the north bare-headed and in great haste. 
Pedrom (Peter Schuyler), apprehensive of bad news, ran out to 
meet him. Without checking his horse the rider cried out to 
him that Lord Howe was killed and the British army defeated. 
Mrs. Schuyler sank under the stroke and broke out into bitter 

As the battle occurred on the 8th of July and the army 
reached the head of Lake George on the night of the ninth, 
this messenger must have started from Fort Wm. Henry on 
the morning of the tenth for Albany so that it was probably 
the twelfth or thirteenth when he reached the home of Mrs. 
ScliLiyler or five or six days after the death of Lord Howe. 

It is evident, therefore, that as late as July 12 or 13 Mrs. 
Schuyler first learned of the death. At least five or six days 

14 The Burial of 

after the event of the death no funeral cortege had reached 
Albany. But the tradition states that the remains were 
started on the seventh. If so they should have reached 
Albany before the messenger or, if delayed by bad roads, have 
been passed by him on the way, notice of which, if it had 
happened, he would surely have given. But the messenger is 
also silent as to any such funeral cortege. The family history 
of the Schuylers is also silent. Is it reasonable to suppose 
that such an event, the arrival of the remains, the fuueral and 
burial — if any such there were — would have been passed 
over in silence, when the family were so interested in the man 

In that delightful home of the past, that noble-hearted lady, 
whose affection for Howe was almost that of a mother, would 
have sacredly received the remains for the last funeral cere- 

Lossing says that Gen. Schuyler did not leave any autobi- 
ography in the form of a diar}- or narrativeof his career; of 
his early life we have little knowledge except in tl:e form of 
family traditions. 

If the tradition that he conveyed the remains of Lord Howe 
was true, an honor so great would surely have been referred 
to in the memoirs of his mother. But it is also a matter of 
history, that Philip Schuyler did not go on witli the army in 
its advance to Ticonderoga but remained at Fort Wm. Henry 
as commissary in charge of the army stores and provisions 
and naturally knew nothing of the battle until the return of 
the defeated army on the ninth. 

It may be also stated that it was the custom in all cases, 
where it was possible, to remove the remains of England's 
distinguished sons, who had fallen in battle, from foreign 
lands to their native country. This was done a year later in 
the case of Gen. Wolfe, who fell at Quebec. There are 
many other instances. It is only reasonable to believe that 
the same would have been done in the case of Lord Howe if 
there had been a reasonable presumption that his remains had 
been deposited in Albany. 

There is a tradition in the Howe family alluded to in the 
following extract of a letter from the present head of that 

Lord Viscount Howe. 15 

J;ouse: He says " it is clearly proved that the idea of remov- 
ing the remains was given up for the purpose of burying the 
same in Westminster Abbey, and this tends to show that 
there must have been some difficulty in finding where the 
remains were laid." 

This tradition, which is as worthy of credit as any state- 
ment of Mrs. Cochrane, is to the effect that Sir William Howe, 
a brother and a colonel in a British regiment in the battle of 
Quebec, after peace was declared, returned to New York, 
by way of Ticonderoga and Albany, with the object of 
endeavoring to find the remains of his brother for removal to 
England and that he failed in his efforts. It is only natural 
to suppose, that the family and friends must have made some 
effort in that direction and not difficult to believe, that in such 
a wilderness it would be no easy task to locate the grave. 

In view of these facts it may be safely asserted that there is 
no authentic record, no statement, official or otherwise, writ- 
ten or printed at that time, which can be produced to prove 
the truth of the tradition that the remains were taken to 

We further assert that the statements, as to the alleged 
final resting place of the supposed remains in the city of 
Albany, are so confused and contradictory as to convey abso- 
lute doubt, as to the degree of reliability to be placed upon 
such evidence. 

The first point we have just discussed being well taken, it 
follows of necessity that a striking difference would be found 
in the accounts as to the locality of the place of burial. As 
long as there is no contemporaneous history, reliable in itself, 
there would naturally be many and various accounts as to the 
place of sepulture. And so we find the facts to be. No 
accounts agree; all differ. Ingenious and ably conceived 
theories attempt to solve the problem and we are reminded of 
the well-known saying: 

" Lord Howe, he lies here and Lord, how they lie there! " 

It is, to say the least, unfortunate that no inscription or 
other mark of identification has been shown which would of 
necessity be to a certain extent conclusive as to the fact. It 

1 6 TJie Burial of 

is true that Elkanah Watson claims that the identity of the 
grave in the old, English church was established by a coat of 
arms. But lie stands alone. It is not referred to by any 
other witness. In a matter of so great importance it is very 
strange that the same or other marks of identification should 
not have been found in subsequent graves. 

The various descriptions of the coffins, as well as their con- 
tents, are at variance and equally unsatisfactory. 

This, in itself, seems apparently unimportant, but when 
considered in connection witli so many other discrepancies 
has its own particular weight. 

Each account differs as to the material of which the various 
coffins were constructed. There is no agreement whatever, 
and this seems to be one of the many strange features of the 
case. The witnesses have either drawn upon their imagina- 
tion or they have not seen the same coffin. This is the only 
legitimate conclusion. 

Watson says that in 1802, at that exhumation "all on 
exposure shrunk to dust, whicli was conveyed by vulgar hands 
to the common charnel house and mingled with the promis- 
cuous dead." If this was true in 1802, how did it happen that 
in 1859 so many undecayed relics purporting to be the verita- 
ble remains were found? If Watson be correct, what shall we 
say of the statements of the other witnesses? 

Perhaps the argument might be briefly stated. thus: Tradi- 
tion says the remains of Lord Howe were buried in St. Peter's 
church. An unmarked coffin was found in St. Peter's church 
containing a few relics. Therefore, in the absence of any 
other claimant, this coffin contained the remains of Lord 

Watson further says that at the exhumation of 1S02, the 
hair was found stiffened by the dressing of the period, the 
queue and the ribbon apparently entire. 

Other persons also, without observing quite as much as Mr. 
E. Watson, saw at the same time the hair in a good state of 
preservation, dressed in the fashion of the day (A. E. J. , 
March 30, 1859). Mr. Crannell, in 1859, saw the hair and the 
ribbon that held the queue. 

Lord ]'isconnt Hozve. i 7 

Others saw only the ribbon. Others again saw a tuft of 
hair about six inciies long which was tied with a black ribbon 
stained but undecayed. 

But Mrs. Cochrane has a wonderful account and surpasses 
all other witnesses. She says the hair had grown to long 
flowing locks and was very beautiful. 

AVe only quote these statements as to queues and flowing 
locks for the purpose of saying that according to the testi- 
mony of Mrs. Grant's Memoirs, Howe's hair was cropped 
close and he ordered every one else to do the same. 

The entry in the treasurer's book of St. Peter's church does 
not, of itself, establish the fact of the burial there. 

In view of the uncertain and conflicting testimony as to the 
disposition of the remains claimed to have been taken to 
Albany, this entry might merely relate to the fact that there 
had been a purchase of some ground in anticipation of the 
reception of the remains. Under no circumstances would the 
mere purchase of a burial lot for the dead of itself prove the 
fact of the interment of the dead in the lot, unless cor- 
roborated by other evidence. Besides, it is a curious fact 
that the entry is in the nature of a debit entry. The entry is 
in September, two months after the death of Lord Howe. 
May we not as well infer that the entry has reference to money 
refunded by the church after it was found impossible to 
bring the remains to Albany. 

Here again a most important link in the chain of evidence 
is wanting. The burial register, so unfortunately lost, would 
have furnished positive proof. 

Thus it must be apparent to any unprejudiced mind, after 
a careful consideration of all the evidence presented, that the 
claim in behalf of Albany, as the burial place of the remains 
of Lord Howe, is not founded upon fact but rests solel)^ upon 
conjecture and supposition. Whatever evidence has been 
presented rests upon traditions confused in the object and 
place; traditions not found in contemporaneous history and 
without any tangible foundation, documentary or otherwise; 
traditions which no accurate historian would accept after a 
careful and painstaking investigation. In fact the leading 

1 8 The Burial of 

historians of this colonial period have not accepted these 
traditions and thus given them the seal of their authority. 
The whole argument may be briefly summarized as follows: 
Different men have seen different coffins and different men 
have seen the coffins deposited in different places. But there 
is not a scintilla of evidence that any one of these coffins con- 
tained the remains of Lord Howe. 

In the further progress of this paper, it may be well to con- 
sider a few facts relative to those early colonial days and to 
briefly describe the localities of Abercrombie's campaign so 
far as they ma}'^ be connected with the subject matter of this 

For five years succeeding the year 1755 Albany was the 
principal base of military operations on this continent. 

Between Albany and Lake George was the great carrying 
place on the Hudson where Gen. Lyman had begun a fortifi- 
cation, which his men called Fort Lyman but which was 
afterwards named Fort Edward. Two Indian trails led from 
this place to the waters of Lake Champlain, one by way of 
Lake George and the other by Wood creek. In 1755 the 
Lake George trail was opened into a road ; over which, by 
reason of trees, stumps, roots, and swamps, carriage or travel 
was necessarily slow. 

The main route from Albany was from Half Moon (present 
town of Waterford) along the banks of the Hudson to Still- 
water; thence by water to Saratoga; thence by road to the 
upper falls ; thence by boat to Fort Edward and thence across 
the country by the new road to Fort William Henry at Lake 

The country around and on either side of this route was a 
dense wilderness or forest, affording opportunities for many 
strong bands of Canadians and Indians to threaten serious 
mischief and cut off small parties. 

Ticonderoga, the objective point of Abercrombie's cam- 
paign of 1758, was a high rocky promontory at the junction 
of the outlet of Lake George with Lake Champlain. The 
French fort was named "Carillon." The distance from the 
fort to the lower falls on the outlet was scarcelv two miles. 

Parkman's "Montcalm and Wolfe," vol. I, p. 387 

Lord J'iscoiint Howe. 19 

Here was a saw mill built b}' the French. The only road or 
path was called the "carrying place," and this extended from 
Lake George to a point near the saw mill. It is shown on a 
map in Parkman's "Montcalm and Wolfe," vol. II, page 94. 
" Mountain and valley lay wrapped in primeval woods: " a for- 
est exceedingly dense and heavy, obstructed with undergrowth 
and fallen trees in every stage of decay. In such a scene one 
hundred and thirty-four years ago Howe fell and 

* ' ' From the giant tangled dark woods 

In the Trout brook at the ambush, 

Wet with mists of roaring cascades, 

Floateth up his strong white spirit." 


" In the abbey of Westminster, 
Wrote his name young Massachiisetts ; 
Carved the word Ticonderoga 
In the proud and pallid marble." 

It is authentic history that on the evening of the 4th of 
July, 1758, the British and Colonial army, under the command 
of Gen. Abercrombie, was lying at the head of Lake George 
preparatory to an attack upon Fort Carillon, then commanded 
by Montcalm; that they embarked in the morning of the 5th 
on the waters of that beautiful lake — a superb spectacle of 
the pomp and panoply of war- — -that at five in the afternoon 
they reached Sabbath Day point where they waited until 
eleven at night; that at day-break of the 6th they entered the 
second narrows near Rogers rock and at noon the whole army 
landed near the present steamboat landing at Baldwin. 
Rogers, the ranger, was ordered forward with his men to 
reconnoitre, while the main army was formed for the march. 
Rogers reached what was known as the rising ground and 
there remained, a fourth of a mile from the saw mill. This 
rising ground is the slope of the hill where the present 
academy and union school is located, and is also noted on 
the map before referred to. In the meantime Lord Howe, 
with Major Putnam and 200 rangers, marched at the head but 
at some distance in advance of the principal column of the army. 

Suddenly they encountered a company of the French, not a 

* Joseph Cook. 

20 The Burial of 

part of the main army but a small party, who had been watch- 
ing the approach of the British and seeking their own lines, 
had lost their way. Shots were exchanged. A hot skirmish 
ensued and Lord Howe, shot through the breast, dropped 

The place was near Trout brook, about seventy-five rods 
from where Rogers was stationed ; so near that as soon as 
Rogers heard the firing, he turned and attacked the same 
party of French, who were soon put to Alight. 

"The British army was needlessly kept under arms all 
night in the forest and in the morning was ordered back to 
the landing whence it came." 

Such are the facts related by authentic history. 

It is our purpose to show that the remains of Lord Howe 
were buried near the place where he fell and that such burial 
was a matter of necessity. 

The d^ath occurred in the heated month of July. The army 
was in fighting trim, unencumbered with any superfluous 
baggage. Hence there were no sufficient appliances for the 
proper embalming or preservation of the dead. Without 
such means it is unreasonable to suppose that the body could 
have been properly carried over a long and difficult route, 
necessarily occupying several days with frequent changes of 
land and water travel. 

Besides, such removal was not practicable, in view of the 
danger attending the same. 

Rogers, who as a participant in these very scenes is of the 
highest authority, says in his journal that at once upon the 
repulse of the army on the 8th of July, he sent out five scout- 
ing parties on both sides of the lake (George) and went with 
one himself. The scout extended to Fort Edward. On the 
8th he found a party of French and Indians, one thousand in 
number, on the east side of the lake. On the 17th a British 
regiment was attacked half way between the head of the lake 
and Fort Edward. 

It is a matter of history that the wilderness between the 
lake and Fort Edward was continually traversed by bands of 
Indians and French in search of plunder and scalps down to 

Lord Viscount Hozve. 2 1 

a period as late as the final evacuation of Ticonderoga by the 
French in Amherst's campaign. It would therefore have 
been manifestly hazardous to have attempted to convey the 
remains to Albany, requiring at least the services of a 
stronger detachment for a guard than could well have been 
spared at the time. 

Watson's statement of the departure of a single barge with 
its naturally small company seems well nigh absurd when we 
consider the character and condition of the roads, the neces- 
sity of slow travel, as a funeral cortege, and the innumerable 
dangers of the journey. Such an attempt would have pro- 
voked speedy capture by a daring and watchful enemy. 

It may be further stated that the exigencies of the time as 
well as military custom did not warrant any such removal. 

When Howe fell, the army were in a peculiar condition of 
doubt and uncertainty. They were kept under arms in the 
dense forest the whole night of the 6th. Rogers held his 
place on the rising ground. It was evidently a general 
expectation that they might be attacked by the French at any 
time. General languor and consternation affected the cour- 
age and spirit of everybody. There was no order or disci- 
pline. All thought was necessarily turned towards their 
present condition. All that could have been done for the 
lamented dead was done. The extreme probability of a con- 
test at any minute, the character of the weather of a hot 
summer month and the doubtful issue of impending events, 
all constrained a speedy burial. About seventy-five rods from 
the place where Howe fell was the oak knoll or rising ground 
where Rogers and his rangers were placed. This was a suita- 
ble place for the burial as it was near the ancient carrying 
•place and about twenty rods east of the old military road. 
Such a place as this in so dense a forest might the easier be 
identified at any future time. 

We can well imagine that sorrowful scene — perhaps in the 
early evening hours of the 6th — the open grave, the manly 
forms of the rangers, Putnam, Stark, Rogers and Peterson, 
the unfortunate Abercrombie, the groups of soldiers, Camp- 
bell, of Inverawe, "silent and gloomy, for his soul was dark 
with foreshadowings of death." A few short w^ords are 

2 2 The Burial of 

said; the coffin is placed in the grave; a stone hastily lettered 
by Peterson, one of the rangers, is put at the head of the 
coffin to identify the remains; the ground is carefully replaced 
so that hostile Indians may not wantonly disturb the dead 
and the sorrowing group of soldier friends separate for their 
posts of duty during that long trying night, leaving the dead 
hero in his last restful sleep. 

So Braddock was buried nearly four years before near the 
Great Meadows in the road, and men, horses and wagons 
passed over his grave effacing every sign of it, lest the Indians 
should find and mutilate the body. 

So Col. Williams was buried after the battle of Lake 
George, some twenty rods from where he fell and the place 
was not discovered until long years thereafter. And so Howe 
was buried secretly to prevent Indian atrocities. The great 
battle of the 8th was fought and no British soldier saw the 
locality until the following }'ear. In the fluctuating events of 
the war the grave was left undisturbed. There is a tradition, 
before referred to in the present Earl Howe's letter, that some 
attempt was made to locate the place for the purpose of 
removal to England. Subsequently followed the stirring 
events of the war of the Revolution and the place had been 

The grave recently found in Ticonderoga was beyond 
any reasonable doubt the grave of Lord Howe. 

The circumstances of the discovery are as follows: 

On the 3d of October, 1889, a workman (Peter Duchane) 
while engaged with others in digging a trench, close by the 
door-yard fence of Mr. E. M. Gifford, four feet or more under 
ground, came upon a piece of decayed board; still digging he 
lifted out a large stone close against the board, then a human 
skull, then other bones of a human skeleton but so old and 
decayed that in exhuming them from the stiff clay they were 
considerably broken. The teeth were those of a young man, 
and round and white as to the crowns. The top of the coffin 
had fallen in. The sides, head and bottom were there but so 
rotten that it fell to pieces with a slight pressure. The wood 

Lord Viscount Howe. 23 

was thought to be pine reduced to about half an inch in 

The locality is the same rising ground we have before men- 
tioned. The ground has never before been disturbed to anj^ 
depth within the memory of the oldest inhabitant. The high- 
way, on the side of which the remains were found, has been 
where it now runs for more than ninety years. No burial 
ground was ever within a mile of the spot and there is no 
tradition or knowledge of any burial there. 

Interest was at once aroused. The stone was examined. 
It was a hard limestone about ten inches long by six or seven 
inches wide, flat on one side and oval on the other, weighing 
twenty or twenty-five pounds. It was encrusted with clay. 
In consequence of a letter or character being partly visible it 
was carefully washed and to the surprise of everybody an 
inscription in capital letters was found cut in the hard surface 
in four parallel lines across the stone, the letters being two- 
thirds of an inch high and wide, thus: 

Mem of L" Howe Killed Trout Brook. 

The letters were apparently pricked with a bayonet or other 
sharp pointed instrument. It was found evidently standing 
upright against the head of the cofifin. A fragment of a 
brass button; also several nails — old fashioned hand made, 
such as are found in the old fort — -were found, but nothing 

The locality is identical with the eventful scenes of those 
disastrous days of 1758. It was in fact the only ground con- 
tinuously held by the English during the 6th and 7th of July. 
It was a part of the " rising ground " already mentioned. All 
testimony of the past and present shows that the ground has 
been undisturbed except by the lowering or grading of the 
surface some two feet, making the original depth of the grave 
nearly six feet. 

It was discovered by the merest accident, by a man who can 
neither read nor write and who had never heard of Lord Howe. 
There are no charges of fraud or deceit. The stone was at no 
time in the possession of any person who could or would have 
tampered with it. It was simply impossible for Duchane, the 
finder, to have attempted any fraud, and the high character 

24 TJie Burial of 

of those who were present and aided in clearing the stone is 
a sufificient answer to any such suggestion. 

The o of the Lo is smaller than the other letters, corre- 
sponding to the then prevalent practice in all papers and docu- 
ments of designating the title of Lord by that abbreviation. 
The words " killed Trout brook " are very significant as being 
a fair and the only description at that time which could be 
given of the place where Howe was shot. The name Trout 
brook is found on all the old military maps and charts of the 

Under the circumstances of the case it seems, beyond all 
possible doubt, that this grave so unexpectedly discovered 
was the last resting place of the gallant hero. The lettered 
stone is a relic that bears on its face the seal of truth. It is a 
silent witness to the establishment beyond a question of the 
identity of the remains. Its presence in that grave can be 
accounted for on no other hypothesis. It presents affirmative 
testimony not to be gainsaid. 

But the proof so furnished is further most clearly substan- 
tiated by a tradition handed down in the Peterson family, now 
living in Ticonderoga. 

In Rogers' muster roll is found the name of J. Peterson, a 
ranger. He was a resident of Claremont, N. H., at the time 
of the old French war. Men are now living who remember 
"old Peterson," so called because he reached the patriarchal 
age of at least 107 years, and of his conversations regarding 
old Ti and the old war. 

He had two sons, Ephraim and Amasa, both of whom 
eventually settled in Ticonderoga and died at an advanced 

Joseph Peterson, who is a grandson of Ephraim, in a sworn 
affidavit, states that while Ephraim and Amasa were living in 
his father's family, he has often heard them talk of their 
father's services in the old French war; that for thirty years 
he was an Indian fighter, scout and minute man; that he was 
enrolled in Capt. Rogers' company of rangers; that an older 
brother, a provincial, was killed in the assault of the 8th on 
Fort Ti. That he, the father, frequently related that he was 
not far from Lord Howe wlieu the latter was killed ; that he 

Lord Visco2iiit Hozue. 25 

was killed on the east side of the outlet of Lake George 
about opposite the mouth of Trout brook; that he was 
present at Lord Howe's burial, and being a stone cutter by 
trade, he was ordered to mark a stone to be put in the grave; 
that the stone was lettered by him and he saw it put in the 
grave to identify it afterwards; that Lord Howe was buried 
on the highest ground right opposite the mouth of Trout 
brook and east of the outlet of Lake George. 

The Peterson family have been known in Ticonderoga for 
three generations as very intelligent and especially upright 
and truthful people, and any statement made by them is 
deserving of the highest respect. 

The statement, thus related, is the only voice out of the 
past which gives even a hint or a suggestion as to what hap- 
pened on the battle-field after the death of Lord Howe. It is 
worthy of credence as being- connected with a family history, 
handed down and retained with an honorable pride by those 
whose ancestors took part in the stirring events of colonial 
times. Many an old veteran's story has gone into and become 
a part of our own war chronicles, all the more interesting as 
minute details are thereby furnished which documentary 
history fails to record. 

It was natural to suppose that it would be necessary in the 
future to remove the remains to England and hence every 
possible measure to identify the grave. 

If any attempt was ever made to find the place, and the 
traditions of the Howe family show, that there was such an 
effort, it was fruitless. It could not well be otherwise. All 
external marks of burial being carefully effaced for precau- 
tionary reasons, it would naturally be difficult to locate the 
place in the midst of a dense forest even with the aid of any 
of the original participants. 

A distinguished writer of Scotland, Sir Thomas Dick Lau- 
der, Bart., born in 1789, in his famous account of the Vision of 
Campbell, of Inverawe, in which he minutely describes the 
movements of the army, speaking of the burial of Lord 
Howe, uses these significant words: 

"That he had so acquired the esteem and affection of the 
soldiers that they assembled in groups around the hurried 

26 The Burial of 

^rave to which his venerated remains were consigned and 
wept over it in deep and silent grief * * * and then 
returned to the landing place, which they reached early in the 
morning. "' 

Thus perished in the early manhood of an illustrious career 
the one man around whose name clusters the affectionate 
regards of the grateful colonists, so beloved by his associates 
that even Stark, of revolutionary fame, was wont to say that 
had not death separated them he might have become a tory 
and fought under British colors. "The noblest Englishman 
that has appeared in my time and the best soldier in the 
British army " was the testimony of the gallant Wolfe ; "a 
character of ancient times; a complete model of military 
virtue" was the appreciative evidence of Pitt. 

In memory of his virtues, for his services had not reached 
their full fruition, he received an honor from one of the lead- 
ing colonies granted to no other leader in that war, not even 
to the hero of Quebec. The province of Massachusetts Bay, 
by order of the great and general court bearing date Feb- 
ruary I, 1759, thus resolved: 

" Bearing testimony to the sense which the province had of 
the services and military virtues of the late Lord Viscount 
Howe, who fell in the last campaign, fighting in the cause of 
the colonies, and also to express the affection which their 
officers and soldiers bore to his command, 

" Ordered that the sum of 250 pounds be paid out of the 
publick treasury to the order of the present Lord Viscount 
Howe for the erection of a monument to his Lordship's 
memory, to be built in such manner and situated in such 
place as the present Lord Viscount Howe shall choose and 
that His Excellency, the Governor, be desired to acquaint his 
Lordship therewith in such manner that the testimony be 
engraved on such monument." 

And yet in view of all these facts regarding the greatness of 
the man; his honorable reputation, the love of his friends 
and comrades; his illustrious ancestry and the favor of the 
great men of the nation, we are required to believe that while 
Westminster Abbey was deemed honored in containing his 

Lord Viscount Howe. 27 

monument, his remains were at the same time lying unhonored 
and unmarked under some church or in some vault in Albany, 

" and none so poor to do him reverence." 

The supposition is repugnant to the mind of every reasona- 
ble person. The filial duty of the two brothers, who were 
but a short time afterwards in America, the loving tenderness 
of the colonies, would gladly have conveyed the remains to 
his ancestral home if they had rested where they could have 
been found. 

But the grave on the oak knoll, a strange resting place for 
England's hero, failed to disclose its secret until 130 years 
thereafter and then the chance blow of a workman's pick told 
the long forgotten story. 

It was a sad death ; a young hero in the fond anticipation 
of coming glory cut off within sight of his crown. It was a 
sad and lonely grave amid the dense shades of a vast wilder- 
ness, far away from kindred and home, but it is all the more 
sad to know that in view of the so-called traditional claims 
presented by Albany newspaper writers and imaginative his- 
torians, the remains cannot even now have suitable burial 
amid the scenes of his old home. 

If this paper may be the means of directing the attention 
of this honorable Institute to a more complete investigation 
of the alleged Albany traditions it will have accomplished its 
purpose, for they will be found to be without foundation and 
of no historical value. 

The Death of Lord Howe. 

A Poem Published in the Scot's Magazine, October, 1758. 

BRITANNIA mourns her j^outhful hero slain, 
And sorrows flow thro' all her martial train ; 
The fair their tears, the brave their sighs bestow, 
And sad America bewails for Howi:, 
Albion, with secret pride her son beheld, 
Form'd for the Senate or the hostile field; 
Youthful in action but in prudence old, 
In counsel steady and in danger bold; 
The soldier brave, with patriot soul complete, 
Rever'd by all, "the virtuous, good and great." 

Voluptuous ease his manly breast abhorr'd, 
When kindred nations British aid implored, 
Without command to fields of death he rov'd. 
And fell a victim to the cause he lov'd. 

Oft has America extolled his care 
To form the legions for the dangerous war ; 
How brother-like he bore with gen'rous heart 
The soldier's duty with the leader's part; 
Oft has beheld him with belov'd delight 
Inure his vet'rans to the ambush fight. 
By great example he their breasts inspir'd 
To brave all danger horrid war requir'd. 
Thtxs wisely trained, the adventurous van he led, ■ 
And fell the first among the honor' d dead. 
So dy'd the hero, as he lived approv'd 
By all lamented as by all belov'd. 

But cease yovn- sorrows, Britons weep no more, 
Since grief cannot your fav'rite chief restore. 
Then from your thoughts the fatal truth convey ; 
Behold his brothers honor's call obey. 
Proud to avenge a slaughter'd brother's cause. 
Fond to deserve their country's best applause. 
Great is our loss, so dreadful be their rage. 
As ruin'd Gallia only can assuage. 

'Tis done ! Brave Richard to the fight returns, 
The Gauls affrighted fly, their navy burns. 
William again shall scour the hostile plain, 
And foes shall fly his youthful ire in vain. 
Thomas enraged shall draw the avenging steel, 
Till Gallia's sons their triple fury feel. 
That these survive, imperious Lewis know 
Who fear the terrors with the name of Howe, 

Written at Nottingham \tlie home of Lord lloive) October jj, jyjS. 


Various Accounts of the Alleo-ed Burial 
in Albany. 

T OSSING in his " Histor)' of Gen. Philip Schuyler," after 
-*— ' referring to the advance of the British, says: "In this man- 
ner they had proceeded about two miles and were crossing a 
brook (Trout brook) within the sound of the rushing waters of 
Ticonderoga, when the right centre, commanded by Lord 
Howe in person, came suddenly upon a French party of about 
three hundred men who had lost their way and had been 
wandering in the forest for twelve hours. * * * * At the 
first fire Lord Howe was struck by a musket ball and expired 
inmediately. * * * Qn the 7th, another boat had passed 
over the lake upon a different errand. It contained the body 
of the young Lord Howe. * * * it was carried on a rude 
bier to Fort Edward and thence to Albany in a batteau. 
Major Schuyler caused it to be entombed in his family vault; and 
there it lay many years, when the remains were placed in a 
leaden coffin and deposited under the chancel of St. Peter's 
church in that city. They rest there still. We have observed 
that Lord Howe, as an example to his soldiers had cut his 
fine and abundant hair very short. When his remains were 
taken from Schujder's vault for re-entombment, his hair had 
grown to long flowing locks and ivas very beautiful. " 

Macauley's "History of New York" claims that Howe 
was shot by an Indian but has not a word to say of the 

Weise's "History of Albany " says " by some it is said, 
that the corpse was interred in a vault of the English church; 
by others in one of the Reformed Protestant Dutch churches." 

30 The Burial of 

Watson in his " History of Essex County " says: 
"The body was conveyed to Albany and buried in St. 
Peter's Episcopal church, which stood in the middle of State 
street. His obsequies were performed with every pomp of 
military display and all the solemnities of religious rituals. An 
heraldic insignia marked the location of the grave. Forty-four 
years elapsed and in the progress of improvement, that edifice 
Was demolished and the grave of Howe exposed. A double coffin 
was revealed. The outer one which was made of wJdte pine 
was nearly decayed; but the other formed of Ju\n'y nia/iogany 
was almost entire. In a few spots it was wasted and the press- 
ure of the earth had forced some soil into the interior. When the 
lid was removed, the remains appeared clothed in a i-ic/i silk 
damask cerement, in which they were enshrouded on his interment. 
The teeth were bright and perfect, tke hair stiffened l?y the dress- 
ing of the period, the queue entire, the ribbon and double brace 
apparently new and jet black. All on exposure shrunk into dust, 
and the relics of the high bred and gallant peer were conveyed by 
vulgar hands to the co/nmon charnel house and mingled with the 
promiscuous dead. 

The author adds by way of a foot-note that he was indebted 
in part "to a published letter of Mrs. Cochrane for the fact of 
the interment of Howe in St. Peter's and to the manuscript 
of Elkanah Watson for the circumstances of his exhumation." 

Munsell, in his "Collections on the History of Albany," 
vol. I, page 390, says: 

"A tradition prevailed to a considerable extent that the 
remains of the Lord Howe who was killed in Abercrombie's 
campaign in 1758 were buried under St. Peter's church recently 
demolished (1859). There seems to have been no authority for 
it whatever. There is another tradition that he was buried un- 
der the c'A/ Z>//A'// (-/////r// and his remains afterwards removed 
to England. " 

In the same volume, page 446, he further says: 
"It is stated in one of the city papers that one of the bodies 
found under St. Peter's church is supposed to have been that 
of Lord Howe from the fact that the deceased wore lomi' hair. 

Loi'd Viscount Howe. 31 

Col. Humphrey m his life of Gen. Putnam states, and on the 
authority of the latter, that Lord Howe cut off his own hair 
and required the soldiers of his regiment to do the same." 

In the Albany Evening Journal of March 30, 1859, we find 
the following statement: 

" This morning the remains of a coffin were discovered and 
in it were found the bones of a large-sized person. That these 
were the remains of Lord Howe there can he hut little doubt. 
Two pieces of ribbon in a good state of preservation were 
found among the bones, which are supposed to have bound 
his hair together. There are persons now living in this city 
who distinctly recollect the fact of their removal from beneath 
the English church, as it was then called, to the grounds of 
the present St. Peter's. It is alleged by them that the coffin 
was covered with canvas and that saturated with tar; that it 
was opened and exhibited the hair in a good state of preserva- 
tion dressed in the fashion of the day. The coffin was enclosed 
in another and then deposited under St. Peter's church." 

In a letter to the New York Evening Post under date of 
October 17, 1889, Mr. L. B. Proctor described as the "State 
Historian," although we have no knowledge of any such office, 
is quoted as authority for the following statement: 

1. That the body was first placed in the Schuyler vault. 

2. Then under the chancel of St. Peter's church. 

3. Then in the Van Rensselaer vault. 

4. Finally in the new Van Rensselaer vault in the Rural 
cemetery " where they now rest." 

He is also quoted as saying that "when the remains were 
removed from the old Van Rensselaer vault to the new one in 
the Rural cemetery, they were then inspected and with the 
bones were relics of military dress such as buttons, a gold 
buckle that probably encircled the sword belt in which his 
lordship was buried and other military insignia." 

In London Notes and Queries of August, 1859, the follow- 
ing extract is taken from the Albany Argus: 

" We believe it is a tradition rather than a matter of record 

32 TJic Burial of 

that the remains of a British nobleman which were buried 
under the chancel of the old English church when it stood in 
the middle of State street were taken up and re-interred under 
the present church (1859) when it was built in 1804. The tra- 
dition moreover asserts that his name was Lord Howe. * * 
* * * There is no monument, mural tablet, gravestone or 
even a pavement inscription to mark the spot or attest the 

The "Colonial History of New York," edited by E. B. O'Cal- 
laghan, M. D., in a foot note (vol. X, page 735) refers to the 
old tradition. There is no reference to any burial in the text ; 
hence it furnishes no additional weight, being merel}' a repeti- 
tion of the story. 

James Kent, in his biographical sketch of Philip Schuyler, 
says that the latter "was with Lord Howe when he fell by the 
fire of the enemy on landing at the north end of the lake; 
and he was appointed (as he himself informed me) to convey 
the body of that young and lamented nobleman to Albany 
where he was buried with appropriate solemnities in the Epis- 
copal church. " 

Lossing says that Schuyler remained at the head of the lake 
to superintend the forwarding of supplies for the use of the 
army. Hence he could not have been present with Lord 
Howe at the time of his death. 

Schuyler may have been appointed to take the remains to 
Albany but there is no contemporaneous evidence whatever to 
the effect that he did. 

Munsell's " Annals or History of Albany " from 1620 to 1S50, 
a minute narrative of recorded events, fails to mention or even 
refer to any reception or disposal of the remains in Albany. 

Gen. Philip Schuyler died Nov. 18, 1804, and was buried in 
the family vault of Hon. Abram Ten Brook. It is a safe pre- 
sumption, therefore, that the general did not own a family 

Lord Viscount Hoiue. 33 

Niles' "Historical Narrative of the War in New England" 
(vol. V, page 467) edited by the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, after narrating various stories regarding the battle not 
to be found in any other history says, " The body of Lord Howe 
was soon after brought to Albany and honorably interred." 

Mr. Niles died in 1762. The manuscript of his narrative 
had been laid away in some trunk or box, where it remained 
for half a century or more. It was found by accident and 
placed in the hands of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 
who published it in 1856 after revising and correcting the 

A star (*) placed after the word ^''interred'' in the text of 
the narrative as quoted above, refers the reader to Minot's 
" History of Massachusetts," vol. II, page 39 and note. 
"Holmes' Annals," vol. II, page 82 and note. "Bancroft's 
History of the United States," rol. IV, pages 299, 308. 

As these references are to modern authors, who lived from 
a half to three-quarters of a century after the death of Mr. 
Niles, it is evident that the above quotation as to Howe's 
burial has been added by those who "revised and corrected" 
the manuscript for publication, and is not entitled to any con- 
sideration as contemporaneous authority. Besides it is strange 
that the writers, to whom reference is thus made, make no 
ment on of any burial in Albany, and do not corroborate the 
statements of the text in respect thereto. 

Contemporaneous History, as Found in 

Letters, Newspapers, Magazines and 

Other Records of the Year 1758. 

'"pHE London Daily Advertiser and the Gazette issued in the 
-*- months of August and September, 1758, contain a num- 
ber of American letters, long and short, dated at the head of 
Lake George, Albany, New York and Boston, giving minute 
descriptions of the campaign and in particular the manner in 
which Lord Howe was killed and his many noble qualities, 
but refer in no instance to any disposition of his remains. 

The Gentle)iiaii s Magazine contains two letters dated at 
Lake George, July 14 and 15, 1758, which give no account of 
any removal of the remains to Albany. 

General Abercrombie's dispatch dated "Army Headquar- 
ters, Lake George, July 12, 1758," says not a word of any dis- 
position of the body, although referring appropriately to Lord 
Howe's death. 

The following historians of that period do not allude to any 
conveyance of the remains to Albany: "Rogers' Journal,'' 
Gov. Hutchinson's "History of Mass. Bay, etc.," Humphre)^'s 
"Life of Putnam," "Memoirs of Gen. Stark," Bancroft's 
"History of the United States," Parkman's "Montcalm and 

The following letter written in Albany under date of July 
i5> 1758, and printed in the 'London Daily Advertiser oi August 
22, 1758, contains no reference to the Albany obsequies 
and burial. It is written nine days after Howe's death, and 
certainly within or shortly after the period of the alleged 
lying in state and burial in Albany: 

" It is with the utmost concern I acquaint you that Viscount 
George Augustus Howe, Baron of Clenavvly in the county of 
Fermanah, in the Kingdom of Ireland, on Thursday, the 6th 


6 The Biirial of 

inst. , July, was slain, valiantly fighting the French at Ticon- 
deroga. This excellent young nobleman at an age, when 
others go to learn the art of war, at once appeared a finished 
statesman and general, sober, temperate, modest and active 
and did his business without noise. This brave man on his 
arrival in America entered into tlie spirit of the country and 
the enemy he was to engage; exercised his regulars in 'bush- 
fighting,' accustomed himself to long marches, carried his 
own provisions, generally soldier's fare — bread and pork — and 
by his example encouraged and brought over many to his dis- 
cipline. This, all who had known him can athrm. Should I 
enlarge on the virtues of the deceased it would exceed the 
design of your paper." 

The silence of this letter touching the Alban}^ burial is very 

According to Lossing, General Schuyler, who is claimed to 
have taken the remains to Albany and in whose vault they 
were said to have been placed, sailed for England February 
i6, I 761, not quite three years after Howe's death. Surely if 
the remains had been placed in his vault or in any place in 
Albany he would have taken them with him to England, as a 
manifest duty not only to himself, as a friend, but also to the 
mother and brothers of Lord Howe. 

The Scofs (Edinburgh) Magazine of August, 175S, referring 
to the death of Howe says "July 6, killed in an action near 
Ticonderoga in North America, George Augustus Howe, Lord 
Viscount Howe, an Irish peer, member from Nottingham, 
colonel of the 55th regiment of foot, and a brigadier on the 
American establishment. His lordship is succeeded in honors 
and estate by his brother Richard Howe. " 

But there is no reference to any burial. 

Capt. David Homes of Connecticut commanded a company 
in Col. Fitch's regiment at the battle of Ticonderoga, July, 
1758. He was the avithor of four volumes of manuscript 
which comprised his "orderly books." These passed into the 
possession of Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D., minister of t'le First 
church in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Holmes, in his "Annals of 
America," quotes largely from this manuscript in regard to 

Lord J^iscount Howe. ^j 

the old French war tmd particularly, Abercrombie's campaign, 
but finds no record regarding any disposition of the remains 
of Lord Howe. 

Extracts from the "Memoirs of an American Lady" by 
Mrs. Anne Grant. 

This lady in her younger years was a friend of the various 
representative families of Albany and vicinity and among 
others of Mrs. (Aunt) Schuyler, the mother of Philip Schuy- 
ler. She narrates many things of interest in connection with 
Abercrombie's campaign and referring to the reforms made 
by Lord Howe in the service says: " He forbade all display of 
gold and scarlet in the rugged march they were about to 
make and set the example by wearing himself an ammunition 
coat, one of the soldiers, cut short. The greatest privation of 
the young and vain yet remained. Lord Howe's hair was fine 
and very abundant. He however cropped it and ordered 
everyone else to do the same. * * * j|^g night before the 
army moved Madam, and Lord Howe had a long and serious 
conversation. In the morning his lordship proposed setting 
out very early but Aunt Schuyler had breakfast ready, which 
he did not expect. He smiled and said he would not disap- 
point her as it was hard to say when again he might breakfast 
with her or any other lady. * * * ^ fg^y days after Lord 
Howe's departure, in the afternoon, a man was seen coming 
from the north, galloping violently without a hat. Pedrom 
(Mrs. Schuyler's brother) ran instantly to inquire the cause. 
The man galloped on crying out Lord Howe was killed. * * '" 
She further states that Mrs. Schuyler had her house and 
barn fitted up as a hospital for the wounded and speaks of 
her extreme kindness and continues, " Could I clearly arrange 
and recollect the incidents of this period, as I have often heard 
them, they would of themselves fill a volume." 

Mrs. Grant left Albany prior to 1810 and yet, strange to 
say, she makes no statement regarding the disposition of Lord 
Howe's body. Her narrative, so far as he is concerned, ends 
with the tidings of his death as brought by the messenger. 
It seems impossible to believe that her story of those eventful 
days, so minute and particular in other respects, even to 

38 The Burial of 

details of tlie reception and care of the wounded after the 
battle, should have failed to mention the Albany funeral and 
burial, if any such event had taken place. 

The published letters and correspondence of William Pitt, 
Prime Minister of England, contain no letter or other writing 
in any way referring to the burial of Lord Howe. 

Extract from letter of D. Turner, Washington, D. C. : 

" I have searched thoroughly in the Congressional Library at 
Washington the Gentleiiiaii s Magazine from August to De- 
cember, 1758, inclusive, also the numbers for the year 1759 
and also the Scot's Magazine. I then went through with the 
utmost care the files of the London Daily Advertiser (of 
which not a number is missing) subsequent to July ist, 1758, 
to the end of the year, also other contemporaneous history. 
I found several letters giving in full the account of the advance, 
the death of Lord Howe, the defeat and the return of the 
arm}' to the head of Lake George; also the names of some of 
the wounded, the case of Col. Campbell, his death and burial 
at Fort Edward, but not a word or a reference in any form as 
to the disposition or burial of the remains of Lord Howe. It 
is a very singular fact, most worthy of attention, that neither 
Abercrombie, Pitt, Schuyler, Aunt Schuyler, the officers 
attached to the expedition, nor any of the contemporaneous 
writers have a word to say as regards what was done with Lord 
Howe's remains. 

"If the body had been taken to Albany, why was not the 
fact recorded. There could surely have been no reason for 
any silence in regard thereto if such had been the fact. But 
if the remains were buried at Ticonderoga, on the soil of the 
enemies' scalpers, we can readily understand why the strictest 
secrecy should be observed. 

" Show us a line from a newspaper, letter or magazine written 
or printed at the time of the French war; or a monument 
tablet or gravestone on which even the letter ' H ' is engraved 
or any mark to sustain the Albany story, then it may be pos- 
sibly admitted that there is a slight cause to put some credence 
in the tradition. In the absence of such evidence, the tradi- 
tion has no les^al or authentic foundation." 

Testimony Regarding the Marked Stone 

Found in Lord Howe's Grave, 

Ticonderoga, N. Y. 

State of New York, | ,, _ 
County of Essex, j 

On this ist day of June, 1891, before the undersigned, a 
notary pubHc in and for said county, came Joseph Peterson, 
to me well known and whom I certify to be entirely respect- 
able and worthy of full credit, and who being duly sworn by 
me, deposes and says: 

That he resides in the town of Ticonderoga, in said county, 
on Trout brook, and is 59 years of age. That his father, 
Benjamin Peterson, was a native of Claremont, N. H., and 
came from Barnet, Vt. , to Trout brook valley, and settled 
there in September, 1837, and died there at the age of 91 
years, a few years ago. 

An uncle of said Benjamin Peterson, named Amasa Peter- 
son, had settled on Trout brook a few years before deponent's 
father so came there. Two or three years after Benjamin 
Peterson so settled on Trout brook, deponent's grandfather, 
whose name was Ephraim Peterson, came from the east, and 
lived with his son Benjamin until said Ephraim's death. He 
was 92 or 93 years old then, and died at Trout brook aged 95 
years or upwards. Said Amasa Peterson was about five years 
younger. He died aged between 92 and 95 years of age. 
Amasa Peterson was a school teacher, and said Ephraim was 
a veterinary surgeon. The foregoing are matters of family 
history gathered by deponent from his father and said old 

That deponent, while said grandfather and granduncle were 
living in his father's family, often heard them talk of their 
father's services in the old French war, about Ticonderoga and 
vicinity, and of Trout brook. Their father told them that at 
that time the forest in Trout brook valley was the worst jun- 

40 The Burial of 

gle that he ever traveled through. This place was called 
Trout brook at the time. (1755-5S ) 

They said that for thirty years their father was an Indian 
fighter and scout and minute man. Deponent was greatly 
interested in what they said of the events of that war in 
Ticonderoga and his memory of their statements is distinct. 
He heard the same many times. 

They said that their father was in Capt. Rogers' company 
of rangers That they had an older brother who was in the 
same war, but in a provmcial regiment, an enlisted soldier. 
That this brother was killed in the assault on Fort Ticonder- 
oga, July 8, 1758, two days after Lord Howe's death. Their 
father told them that he was present under Capt. Rogers, and 
he was not far from Lord Howe when the latter was shot — on 
the 6th of July. 

The old man, their father, told them that Howe was killed 
on the east side of the outlet of Lake George, about opposite 
the mouth of Trout brook, and he told them that he was 
present at Lord Howe's burial, and being a stone cutter b)'^ 
trade, he was ordered to mark a stone to be put in the grave. 
And that he lettered a stone and put it in the grave, 
to identify the body afterwards. He said that Lord Howe 
was buried in the highest ground right opposite the mouth of 
Trout brook, and east of the outlet of Lake George. From 
their father's description of the spot tliey thought they could 
go very near the spot themselves. 

He told them that in that war he worked at the building of 
Fort George, at the head of Lake George, and upon other 
forts in these parts. 

Deponent further says that it is a part of the family history 
handed down in the family, that his said great grandfather 
moved from Bridgevvater, Mass., to Claremont, N. H., before 
the old French war. And that he was a " minute man " and 
ranger or scout under Rogers, and that he lived to a very 
great age being 107 years old or upwards at his death. 


Subscribed and sworn to before \ 
me this ist day of June, 1891. \ 

John C. Fenton, 

Notary Public^ 
Essex Count}'. 

State of New York, \ 
County of Essex, f " 

On this 19th day of January, 1893, personally came before 
the undersigned, a notary public, residing in Ticonderoga, in 

Lord Viscount Howe. 41 

said county, Peter Duchane, to me known and whom I certify 
to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being duly 
sworn by me deposes and says : 

That he resides in said town and is a workman. That on 
the 3d day of October, 1889, while deponent and others were 
digging a drain along the elevation of ground east of Trout 
brook in said town and about one-fourth of a mile southerly 
from the outlet of Lake George, deponent uncovered a decayed 
wooden coffin containing the remains of a man. That said 
spot was marked by the stone inscribed " Mem of L" Howe, 
Killed Trout Brook." This stone was placed against the head 
of the coffin. No inscription was visible on the stone at that 
time, it being covered by a film of clay which filled all the 
letters of the inscription. The stone was laid on the bank of 
the ditch and was left there until a day later when John C. 
Fenton, the town clerk of said town, requested deponent to 
bring the stone to his office, which deponent then did. No 
letters were yet visible on the stone. By said town clerk's 
directions deponent then washed the cla}^ from said stone at a 
sink near by. The inscription then appeared in the precise 
condition now visible on the stone. The stone has never since 
its discovery been marked nor tampered with in any manner 
nor has any tool of any sort been used upon the stone or the 
inscription. That deponent, at the request of said town 
clerk and the town supervisor, placed the stone in the custody 
of said town officers directly after the inscription was so dis- 
covered and the same has ever since been in their custody 
until the last two or three months, during which time it has 
been in deponent's custody, except for a short period during 
which Prof. E. J. Owen had the stone in his possession to 
take the same to Albany to illustrate his lecture upon the death 
and grave of Lord Howe. That the stone is now in precisely 
the same condition it was in when the clay was first washed 
out of the inscription as aforesaid. 

The said coffin laid about four or four and one-half feet 
below the surface, with the head and this stone in the ditch 
deponent was digging and the body of the coffin extending 
easterly under the sidewalk along the roadside at the place. 

A piece of gral3hite rock of four or five pounds weight also 
laid at the head of the coffin beside the stone. No specimen 
of graphite rock is known to exist within four miles of the 
spot in question. Deponent further says that the human 
bones, together with several wrought nails from the decayed 
coffin were taken up from the said grave at the same time after 
the discovery and at once delivered into the custody of the 
said town officers and were enclosed in a tightly nailed box and 

42 The Burial of 

so enclosed have remained to this time in the possession of 
the said town officers, viz: town clerk and supervisor. 



Sworn to before me this 19th \ 
day of July, 1S93. f 

John C. Fenton, 

Notary Public, 

for Essex County. 

State of New York, ) 
County of Essex, f ' " 

On this 20th day of January, 1893, at Ticonderoga, in said 
county, before the undersigned personally came John C. Fen- 
ton, a resident of said town, whom I certify to be a counselor 
at law and town clerk of said town, who, being duly sworn 
by me, deposes and'says: 

That he is an attorney and counselor at law and town clerk 
of said town of Ticonderoga. That in regard to the grave, 
the inscribed stone and the human remains discovered in said 
town on the third day of October, 1889, and supposed to be 
the remains of Lord Howe, deponent says that he was present 
at the time of said discovery of the same and saw said grave, 
coffin and remains and saw the latter taken from the ground. 
That said human bones contained in a securely fastened box 
have ever since that time been, and are now, in deponent's 
possession as town clerk. 

That by deponent's direction Peter Duchane, the workman 
who discovered the grave, brought the stone found at the head 
of the coffin in the bottom of the grave, to deponent at his 
office, the day after the discovery. At this time no inscription 
was visible, the stone being covered by a film of clay, which 
filled up the inscription entirely. By deponent's direction 
said Duchane washed said stone in a sink hard by. This 
cleansing revealed the inscription "Mem. of L" Howe Killed 
Trout Brook " as it appears at this day, and as Duchane was 
unable to read, deponent was the first person after the discov- 
ery to see and read the said inscription. By deponent's advice 
the stone with the remains found in the grave was directly 
afterwards placed in the custody and possession of deponent 
as town clerk and Charles A. Stevens, the supervisor of said 
town, for safety. And the same have constantly remained in 
their possession until about two months prior to the date 
hereof, when the stone went into the custody of said Peter 
Duchane with whom it has remained to this date except for a 

Lord Viscount Howe, 43 

few days, during which Prof. E. J. Owen had the stone in his 
possession to take it to Albany to illustrate his essay upon 
Lord Howe's death and place of burial. 

No mark has been placed on or removed from said stone 
since its discovery. It has not been changed or tampered 
with nor subjected to any experiment whatever since its 
removal from said grave. The inscription, the several letters 
and the surface of the stone remain in the precise condition 
first revealed by the washing of the clay from the same as 
above described. The letters appear to have been formed with 
a punch of some sort, perhaps the point of a bayonet, used as 
a punch with a hammer. 

On the removal of the clay, the letters appeared as fresh as 
they do now. There has been no change in their appearance. 
As above stated the human bones found in said grave, with 
some fragments of the coffin still remain in deponent's posses- 
sion, but so decayed that it is apparently impossible to tell 
the kind of wood of which it was made. 

Sworn to before me this 20th \ 
day of January, 1893. f 

P. J. Finn, 

Notary Public. 

State of New York, ) 
County of Essex, f 

On this 19th day of January, 1893, before the undersigned, a 
notary public of said county, residing in the town of Ticon- 
deroga, personally came Charles A. Stevens, to me known, 
who being duly sworn by me, did depose and say: 

That he is a merchant and resident of said town, and that 
in the month of October, 1889, and at and after the time of 
the discovery in said town of the grave, supposed to be the 
grave of Lord Howe and of the inscribed stone in said grave, 
deponent was the supervisor of said town of Ticonderoga. 

That directly after the discovery of said grave and stone 
the said stone was delivered to deponent as supervisor and 
John C. Fenton as town clerk of said town for safe-keeping, 
by Peter Duchane, the person who discovered said grave and 
stone. That the said stone remained in their custody from 
that time, until about two months ago, when the possession 
thereof was resumed by said Duchane. 

That during the possession of said stone by said town 
officers, the same was not, nor have the letters thereof been 
changed or altered or tampered with in any manner. No 

44 The Burial of 

tool has been used upon the stone or the inscription. Both 
are now in the same condition they were in when discovered. 
Nothing has been added to or taken away from the same. 

That the human remains found in the said grave and which 
were at the same time delivered into the possession of the same 
two town officers for safe-keeping still remain and have ever 
since remained in the office and actual custody of said town 

Sworn to before me this 19th \ 
day of January, 1893. f 

John C. Fenton, 

Notary Public. 

State of New York, \ 
County of Essex, \ " 

On this 2 1 St day of January, 1893, personally came before 
the undersigned, a notary public of said county, residing in 
the town of Ticonderoga, Dr. Rollin C. Wilcox, well known 
to me and whom I certify to be a physician and surgeon in 
good and regular standing in said town and county, and who 
being duly sworn by me, deposes and says: 

That he resides in said town of Ticonderoga and is a phy- 
sician and surgeon and has practiced in said town for twelve 
years last past. 

That deponent has seen and carefully examined the human 
remains discovered in said town in October, 1889, said to be 
the remains of Lord Howe. That the same were in the cus- 
tody of John C. Fenton, town clerk of said town, when 
deponent examined said remains and were exhibited to him by 
said town clerk, who informed deponent that they were the 
same bones which had been found with the stone, inscribed 
with the name and death of Lord Howe and which, as such, 
had been deposited with said town clerk and supervisor in 
October, 1889, and had been in his actual possession ever 
since that date. 

That deponent saw and examined the skull (in pieces) the 
teeth, the bones of the arms and legs and other smaller bones 
of the skeleton. That they are very old and in a crumbling 
condition, being very light and friable from age. 

That they are the bones of a man and in deponent's opinion 
the bones of a young man or a man of middle age. The teeth 
are sound and unworn and are not the teeth of an old man. 
That the skull is in pieces, being divided at the sutures, but 
the pieces of the skull being more dense are less crumbling or 
friable than the other bones. In taking the bones from the 

I^ord Viscount Hotve. 


stiff clay in which they had so long laid, they were somewhat 
broken. With the said bones, deponent saw some pieces of 
the wooden coffin in which they were found. These pieces 
were so decayed and sponge like that deponent could not 
determine the species of wood of which the coffin was made. 


Sworn to before me this 21st ) 
day of January, 1893. f 

John C. Fenton, 

Notary Public^ 

Essex County. 

t C'i'^l 


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